What should you do to be ready for Ethereum (ETH) staking?

Ethereum is switching to Proof of Stake some time next year (with all the delays, hard to set a date). The Casper protocol has been formalized, the specification is complete, and now the implementation phase can begin. Depending on how long it takes to implement and test may determine how it all plays out.

The question is will it actually be worth it to stake Ether in the first place? Will people be able to do it securely? And what should you do to be ready for the staking?

The Hybrid Casper FFG will reportedly combine Proof-of-Work with Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus, with the goal of eventually transitioning to PoS. According to the EIP, one of the specifications of the update reduces the block reward for miners to 0.6 ETH from the current 3 ETH (Decrease of block rewards by 80% over a year).
~5% yearly interest for anyone who wanna freeze $1mln (1500eth) in Casper.
4% finders fee for anyone who discovers bad actors (slashing).

The minimum staking requirement is set at 32 ethers.

One Redditor asked a question what should he do to be ready for the PoS on Ethereum and got a reply directly from Vitalik:

  1. Get enough ETH.
  2. Keep an eye out for testnets; they’ll start coming in a couple of months. Participate in them to get a feel for what validating will feel like in practice.

Vitalik was also asked about a new hardware device called NeverSlash, that aims to protects validator nodes from being slashed. NeverSlash encodes the slashing conditions of Casper FFG into a Raspberry Pi. Instead of manually checking whether their vote violates the slashing conditions, validators can rely on NeverSlash to prevent them from casting that vote at all.

He called the device brilliant and expended on the whole idea of ethereum staking:

“The goal is to make staking highly accessible, as a default targeting laptops and ideally even phones (think used devices that you replace with new ones, that you then leave lying around your hope hooked up to a power source and home wifi).

The benefit of hardware devices like this is to provide an added layer of security; the hardware itself will just sign messages that your client provides, it will not be able to connect to the internet directly, the worst that it can do is require stop signing new messages, requiring you to log out and withdraw and re-deposit with a different key.”

Buterin continued about the different philosophies Vlad Zamfirov (one of the lead developers of Ethereum) and he have regarding validators in proof of stake consensus:

“Vlad’s attitude is definitely much less forgiving toward validators than mine. I think he would favor validator revenues being net negative if you’re online less than ~85% of the time.

There’s a number of defenses that ensure that your losses from “screwing up” will be fairly small (think 1-4% of deposit) unless you happen to screw up at the same time as many other people or an attack. Now that does mean that if everyone is using Akomba devices your risk from using one goes up, as there’s a heightened risk they all fail at the same time, but until then if it’s set up correctly it should be fine.”

 

Coinbase Pro will stake ETH for you

Coinbase Pro will stake for you when the time comes to stake.

Our vision is to give customers the ability to participate in services like staking and protocol voting that are distinct to crypto. As the decentralized ecosystem advances, we expect there will be many more opportunities for customers to interact with digital assets in new and unique ways.


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